…but is he ever swinging a hot bat. With a 1.232 OPS heading into the game, Ibanez added a double and a walk-off two-run home run — his fifth “long drive” and ninth and tenth runs batted in — in four at-bats this afternoon.
The Phillies fell behind 3-0 after the third inning and were behind 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. The game had failure written all over it until a two-run home run from Chase Utley in the sixth, a pinch-hit solo homer from Jimmy Rollins in the eighth, and then Ibanez’s walk-off two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth off of fill-in closer Edwin Moreno.
Had the Phillies lost, it would have been their fourth in a row. Instead, they find themselves just a game under .500 with plenty of time to turn this into a good month.
Ibanez made an embarrassing fielding gaffe in the third inning when Edgar Gonzalez hit a sinking line drive to left field. Ibanez attempted a diving catch but it sailed right on by him, allowing Jody Gerut to score and Gonzalez to advance all the way to third base. It was somewhat reminiscent of this gaffe from a while ago (via Lookout Landing):
UPDATE: Courtesy the Phillies forum Back She Goes, you can see Ibanez’s gaffe from two — count ‘em, two — different camera angles.
Missing Pat Burrell? We all are, but this graph, courtesy FanGraphs, should cheer you up a bit. It’s a comparison between Ibanez and Burrell using wOBA. Click the graph to see a larger version. Obviously, pay attention to the 2009 numbers.
On a related note, Josh Geer was extremely frustrating to watch pitch against the Phillies today — he was good. In seven innings, he walked none, allowed only six hits, and struck out four. His only mistake came on a fastball that caught too much of the plate. Chase Utley turned on it and sent it a couple rows back behind the right field fence.
Geer had a hell of a change-up working today. In terms of movement, it was hard to tell apart from his other pitches.